August 11th is national “Call before you dig” or “811” Day but Jones-Onslow would like to remind members that ANYTIME you start a digging project around the home they should dial 8-1-1 at least three working days prior. This free and simple step can save lives and reduce risk of injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages.

“Every time you break ground, even for something simple like planting a shrub or installing a mailbox, you should call 811 first,” said JOEMC’s Vice President of Operations Jeff Allen. “No matter your level of expertise, it’s important to know what’s below the ground to prevent the potentially serious consequences of hitting a utility line.”

The national 811 “Call Before You Dig” phone number links homeowners to a call center, which then dispatches local utility companies to mark line locations with paint or flags. These marked lines show you where it is – and isn’t – safe to break ground. Once your lines have been marked, make sure to dig carefully around the marks, not on top of them. Because utility line locations can shift, it’s important to call each time you are planning to dig.

For more information about safe digging and the “Call Before You Dig” process, visit